Premier League clubs split on change to overseas TV rights payments

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has embarked on a week of lobbying in a bid to heal a split between clubs over the distribution of the next round of multi-billion pound overseas TV rights.

It comes ahead of a meeting of all 20 clubs next Wednesday in London.

Under pressure from the six richest clubs, the chairman has proposed ending the equal sharing of international broadcasting income.

The £3bn overseas deal for 2016-19 generates £39m a year for each club.

Scudamore presented his plan – which would see 35% of the revenue divided according to league position – to the other 14 clubs on Wednesday, but it has been met with resistance.

With new contracts for some international markets for 2019-22 already done and showing significant increases in value, the so-called ‘Big Six’ – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea – want their greater global popularity reflected.

They are also understood to feel that the domestic TV market, currently worth £5.1bn, may have reached saturation point. It is also thought that some were ‘spooked’ by Leicester City’s surprise Premier League win in 2015-16.

However, with the approval of 14 clubs needed to make such a change to the system (the first since 1992), Scudamore has his work cut out to broker agreement by next week.

The league is keen to reach a compromise before going into domestic rights negotiations, where worries over what the ‘Big Six’ could do next – if they are blocked – could create uncertainty.

Speaking at a news conference before his side’s trip to West Ham this weekend, Swansea manager Paul Clement said: “I’m sure the top six would like that because they’ll get a bigger slice of the pie but there are 14 other teams who want to be competitive. If the league’s going to be competitive, the money needs to be evenly distributed.”

Premier League clubs split on change to overseas TV rights payments

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